Friday, August 27, 2010

What I learned about great chapter hooks from LOST

By MaryLu Tyndall
The final ten seconds of an episode of my favorite show, LOST, is playing on my widescreen TV (In HD!) and I’m already on the edge of my seat.
Because I know the writers ALWAYS end each show with something completely bizarre and jarring. And without fail I jump to my feet, clench my fists, and groan, to which my husband invariably says, “Why do you watch this if it frustrates you?” Why do I? Because I can never guess what they are going to do. I never see it coming and I LOVE it! My frustration stems from having to wait another week to find out what happens.
That’s how I want my readers to feel when they finish a chapter in my book. I want them to moan with frustration, gulp with surprise, sigh with enjoyment, and anxiously turn the page. So, how do we, as writers accomplish this in a novel? Is it too much to ask of ourselves to create at the end of each and every chapter the same tension we feel while watching a TV show like LOST? What if your story is a sweet romance or Amish story? Can you do the same thing? I’m here to say, Yes, you can!

Below is a list of types of chapter hooks I took from LOST episodes and beneath each one, I give an example of how I used it in my own writing. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I welcome your ideas for additional endings. Also, please forgive me for only using my books. Problem is, I know my own writing so well and didn’t have time to sift through other author’s books.
Now remember, these are the final sentences in chapters. As you read them, and even without knowing the story, ask yourself if you would turn the page.

End with the worst thing possible that could happen to your character
(In this case, losing his father’s ship to a lady pirate!)
I thank you, Captain, for your chivalrous rescue.” The woman pointed her pistol at him and cocked it with a snap. “But I believe I’ll be taking over your ship.” (The Red Siren)

In a romance, have your heroine find the hero talking intimately to another woman or visa versa
Merrick sat at a table in the back, surrounded by a band of filthy pirates. His ebony hair hung to his shoulders, and his familiar baldric crossed his thick chest. On his lap sat a beautiful, dark-haired woman. He laughed then buried his face into her neck, kissing her.
Charlisse’s heart shattered and crumpled like sand to the floor. (The Reliance)

Play upon the character’s worst fears
Isabel bolted up in bed and glanced over the shadows in her room. Her eyes darted to the cradle beside her. It rocked back and forth. She peered inside. Her baby was gone. (The Restitution)

Create a moment of extreme embarrassment
Hope’s eyes widened. She flung a hand to her mouth, then bent double and lost the contents of her stomach all over his boots. (The Blue Enchantress)

Unexpected action
(The Raven Saint)
Rafe opened his mouth to tell the exasperating woman that God was on no one’s side, but her eyes fluttered shut, and she collapsed.

Have an unexpected or long lost character enter the room
(The Blue Enchantress)
(Background: A man has just entered the tavern where Hope is waiting. It is the man who sold her as a slave on St. Kitts.) His satin waistcoat and breeches bespoke either great wealth or ostentatious pride, and he perused the room with haughty disdain as if he owned the place.
Hope panted out a ragged breath. “Lord Falkland.”.

End with a threat
(The Raven Saint)
Rafe threw back his shoulders and lengthened his stance to cover up the fear tying his stomach into knots. He swung back to his father whose blue eyes glowed with cruel deception. “What is this about?”
His father grinned. “This is what I believe you call a mutiny.”

End with an action that could end badly
(Background: Hope is being sold as a slave to a slimy merchantman) (The Blue Enchantress)
As the man counted out the coins into the auctioneer’s greedy hands, Hope reached for the sword.

End with a promise of disaster.
(Surrender the Night)
A petal loosened and floated to the floor by her feet. When it struck the wooden planks, a heavy drape of foreboding fell upon her. Something terrible was about to happen. Something that would keep Alex from her forever.

End with a promise of action
(The Blue Enchantress)
Clenching his fists, Nathaniel resolved to speak with Hope tonight, for he could no longer deny his feelings. He must tell her he loved her.

End with violence
(The Falcon and the Sparrow)
She halted behind him, knees quaking. Her fingers gorged with blood. Gripping the candlestick with both hands, she hefted it as high as she could. Then, squeezing her eyes shut, she tensed her arms, readying herself to swing with all her might.

A daunting realization:
(The Raven Saint) Sometime in the middle of the night, a lurid thought seeped into Grace’s mind, jarring her consciousness. A picture of a ripe yellow mango danced through her mind. Lifting her hand to her throat, she gasped as tears of shame burned behind her eyes. I am a thief.

End with a question
(Surrender the Heart)
Footsteps stomped. Marianne held her breath.
A half circle of light advanced upon her shoes, then crept up her legs.
“What have we here?”

Ominous foreboding
(Surrender the Heart)
It was the only hope Noah could cling to as he swung over the bulwarks and dropped into the boat that would take him, his men, and Miss Denton to a fate worse than death.

End with a shocking statement
(The Falcon and the Sparrow)
Once she stepped over the threshold of this house, she would no longer be Dominique Dawson, the loyal daughter of a British Admiral. She would be a French Spy.

A vow
(The Red Siren)
Everything inside of her screamed in defiance. She would not serve a God who had allowed such suffering in her life.

An ultimatum
(The Red Siren)
“You will marry me.”
Yanking her hand from his, Faith retreated. “I will not.”
“Then I shall be forced to turn you in for piracy.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Let’s see what you got. Give me your best chapter hooks! They can either fit into one of these categories, or additional ones. (I’d love to have you add new ones to my list!) The Seekerville squad will choose a winner to receive a free copy of my new release, Surrender the Heart.
MaryLu Tyndall is the queen of historical action adventure romances. A Christy Award finalist, she has just released the last in her Charlestown Bell series and a new set of romantic adventures, Surrender to Destiny, begins right now with Surrender the Heart.
To find out more check out


  1. Ooo! Me first since I'm a night owl and probably the first to read this! And speaking of birds, in my latest, "Fine Feathered Friend" an actress is afraid of birds while the bird trainer enlisted to help her is afraid of actresses.

    Here's the end of Chap 1: (Heidi is a red-tailed hawk that hero Tim is showing to a group of kids and our heroine, Glenys.) Oh, man! Why hadn’t he noticed? She had a fur collar on her jacket. Heidi must have thought it was a rodent. Her gaze zoned in as if she was about to swoop onto her prey, and flapped for all she was worth. Thankfully, Tim had a good hold on her, but he felt her strength.
    “Shh. Settle down.” Heidi tucked her wings back in as she lost interest in her target, who was now running down the hill, punching the numbers on her cell phone, and screaming as if she were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. (Would this be considered a Major Setback? Or maybe Worst Fears.)

    And the end of Chap 2: (Tim just offered, grudgingly, to help Glenys recover from her fear of birds.) “Then you’re my man.” The actress flashed a brilliant smile.
    Tim wanted to do his own running and screaming. What had he done? (Would this be Foreboding?)

    And the end of Chap 3: He searched her face for sincerity. What he found there frightened him more than a false heart. He saw intelligence, determination, and two lovely pine-green eyes staring back and causing his heart to beat faster.
    I have to get her out of here—soon! (This category might be a promise that the character will be miserable until he yields. Okay, that's too long, but I can't think of a shorter way to say it.)

    Forgive the three examples. I wanted to show a progression of their relationship, and I hope I made effective cliff hangers to keep the reader turning those pages. If not, it's too late, it comes out with Heartsong Presents this month. :)

  2. Thanks for this comprehensive list, Mary Lou. I'd like to think I've learned most of this, but when the time comes to put them into play do I remember? Usually not. Definitely a list to remember as I go through revisions.

  3. Oh how I love MaryLu's books.
    And I think I see that Surrender has two characters from The Blue Enchantress.

    Masterful cliffhangers here. I hate to see chapters end on a flat note. Sometimes lopping off that last paragraph would have left us in better or shall I say left the characters in WORSE shape!

    I would love to win this book and admit I trail MaryLu around the blogosphere like a groupie.

    Happy FRIDAY everyone. I made banana bread and it smells wonderful. It's not elegant but it does the trick.

  4. Coffee service has arrived!

    Step right up and take your pick of brew-your-owns with my Keurig, my new BFF of kitchen appliances. I'm blowing kisses to Mr. Keurig right now, he's like a prince among men.... er... machines.

    And we've got an array of flavored creamers to accompany and complement Mr. Keurig. Might I suggest a GJ's Butter Toffee with Caramel Machiato creamer? To die for.

    Mary Lu, Deb never admits to puppy-trailing anyone around Blogaronia, so her admission hints at your wonderfulness. Great emotion in those clips, girlfriend, and I'm tickled pink to have you and the banana bread in Seekerville.

    Both are wonderlicious.

  5. Welcome to Seekerville MaryLu.

    I don't know if you remember moi. My hub and I had lunch with you and Camy in Denver a few summers ago.

    Great, great hooks. I am printing this up!!! Thank you.

  6. Im not a writer but loved reading the hooks. I remember quite a few also.
    I really loved Surrender the Heart. Have to say I learnt more American history that I didn't know before.

    Thanks for sharing your insights. Oh I never watched Lost but did see where alot of it was filmed when in Hawaii

  7. Morning MaryLu, What terrific hooks. I loved LOST and I love good hooks.

    Thanks for summing them up so nicely.

    And thanks for putting them in such great novels.

    Here's a hook from PRICE OF VICTORY which is my debut novel coming out next spring with Avalon

    Debra's heart raced. Her stomach tightened with instant nerves. Was Hugh Ashford coming to talk about the Orange-Lite team? Please, please let it be him.
    When she turned around, Debra’s heart sank and jumped at the same time.
    Tall and dressed in silver, hair blowing in the wind, Sterling Wade strode toward her with confident strength.

    We are so happy you joined us here in Seekerville. And Ruthy and Deb have goodies already. Yum.

  8. Hi, Mary Lu! I'm reading Surrender the Heart right now. It's very good! :-)

    I love great chapter-ending hooks! I never plan them. Although I enhance them occasionally, or try to end a scene a little more dramatically. I don't separate my scenes into chapters until I'm done with the book. Sometimes I will put a chapter ending in the middle of a scene, just when things seem most dire. I do all this after the book is done, though! I don't know how people outline chapter by chapter. That brings to mind a visual of a person in a straight jacket! LOL

  9. Okay, I'll share the ending to chapter 1 of The Healer's Apprentice, which releases one week from today! (I just love saying that.)

    My heroine is a bit squeamish, as she proves in chapter one when she almost gets sick when her mistress, the healer, has to sew up a gash in a little boy's arm. And now the healer is away and she is alone. Lord Hamlin is the duke's oldest son, and she's already had a little embarrassing confrontation with him. Quoting now:

    Three men stood at the threshold. The middle one's arms were draped over the shoulders of the other two. His head hung down so that she couldn't see his face. Sweat dripped from the dark hair clinging to his brow.

    She recognized the men on either side as the two knights who yesterday had traveled alongside Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert. That meant the one in the middle was--

    Lord Hamlin lifted his head, his face. His eyes riveted her with a look of pain.

    End of chapter. :-)

  10. MaryLu, welcome! It's so nice to get to meet you!

    What a great post! Those were amazing hooks. I'm now dying to read every one of the books. :)

    I couldn't think of a thing to add to your list. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hi, MaryLu. Welcome to Seekerville. I love chapter ending hooks.
    I never feel completely satisfied with them.

    I think the master of chapter ending hooks on TV was 24. Whoever was writing that was brilliant at the constant high stakes cliffhanger.

  12. I agree that Lost had amazing cliffhangers. 24 was another show that made full use of cliffhangers. I usually end a scene that way. There has to be a reason to turn the page.

  13. Here's one I like. First Chapter ending hook of my October release Wrangler in Petticoats.

    Sally clawed at her eyes to clear her vision in time to see Colonel McGarrett drop his gun and fall limp on his back. She was the last one of their party firing.

    Everyone was either dead or out of action.

    God have mercy on all of us. Have mercy on me. God have mercy. God have mercy.

    Her trigger clicked on an empty chamber and she shifted to reload her Winchester. A bullet struck hard low on her belly. Her arms kept working so she refused to think of what a gut shot meant.
    Praying steadily for mercy, for safety, for strength to survive the horrible wound, she squinted through her pained eyes to see her horse, riddled with bullets kick its legs and make a hopeless effort to rise. Furious at the death and destruction around her, Sally was too disoriented to know left from right. The dying horse staggered up then fell toward her. Sally rolled aside but not far enough. The horse slammed her backward. Clawing at the rock strewn trail, she felt the ground go out from under her.

    She pitched over the edge of the cliff and screamed as she plunged into nothingness.

  14. Hey everyone and Welcome to Seekerville, MaryLu! I just love this article! I'm working on tweeking a couple of chapter endings right now so this is oh so handy!

    I've got all of MaryLu's books so I won't leave a hook. Whoever wins is in for a GREAT read!


  15. Hi everyone! I'm in California so I just woke up.. Can't wait to read through all the reponses!

    Kathy, I love your premise of the actress being afriad of birds and the bird trainer being afraid of actresses!! LOL. I love your Chapt 1 ending. I would classify it as Worst Fears. Reminds me of Hitchcock's The Birds Movie. I shiver.
    Yes, definitely foreboding on Chapter 2. The reader knows that poor Tim has really set himself up for some trouble!
    In chapter 3, it sounds like you're setting up some disaster. What does he have to get her away from? He has to get her out of here soon or what? Leave the reader with a hint of what might happen, if you haven't already in the chapter.
    Yes! Excellent examples!

  16. Diana, Thank you for dropping by. I try to keep this list by my computer just to remind myself of some possiblities as I'm writing my chapter endings. There's no way I could remember all these!
    Waving at Debra!! :-) Care to share some of that banana bread? Yum. Oh wait, drat. I'm on a gluten free diet.
    Ah Ruth, I do adore a good cup of coffee! I've never heard of a Keurig, but he sounds like my kind of guy! LOL

  17. Tina, yes I do remember you and your husband! We ate outside at that tiny cafe. That part of Denver is so lovely. Thanks for dropping by!! I hope you and hubby are doing well.
    Hi Ausjenny! You really should check out LOST. It's one of the best shows ever on TV. JMHO, of course. :-) I'm so glad you enjoyed Surrender the Heart! Good to see you here on Seekerville!
    Oh Sandra, love your chapter hook! I would classify it as the entrance of an unexpected character. Now, the reader must turn the page to find out what Sterling wants and how Debra will react to it.! (Love the name, Sterling, by the way!)

  18. Hi Melanie! I've very excited to read The Healer's Apprentice! Loved your trailer, btw. I don't outline chapter by chapter when I'm writing either. I'm more of a SOTP writer. As I'm writing the chapter, if I come to a cliffhanger moment, I just end the chapter there. Some of my chapters are long and some short. You could do the same since you don't separate into chapters until after the book is written. In fact, that might be easier.
    Your chapter ending is great! As long as you've set up before why your heroine would be so stressed to see Lord Hamlin. This would be one of: a promise of disaster, worst fears, or unexpected character. Perfect!

  19. Hi Missy! Thanks for dropping by! And Mary, yes, 24 was another one of my favorite TV shows! I'm so bummed that both it and LOST are over now. I got goosebumps reading your chapter ending--seriously. A great Promise of disaster! Apparently you're as good with chapter beginnings as you are endings. Grrrr. she growls in jealousy!

  20. Hi Terri!! thanks for leaving a comment. And Hi Patty!! You own ALL my books? Wow, thanks! Glad my post helped you.
    Let's face it in this day and age when everyone wants to be entertained and get their gratification quickly, we need to grab our readers' attention and refuse to let go! It's not always easy to do this and I'm not at all saying that I accomplish it, but boy, do I try!

  21. Hi MaryLu:

    Great post. I’ve made a list of your hooks. However, I don’t like the term ‘hooks’
    Hooks can get stuck in your fingers and they cause pain to the poor worms and fishes.

    I like the term “Anticipatory Events”. These are events that reward a reader for reading. I like lots of AEs in a story. AEs are also well suited for traditional romances that don’t rely on suspense or adventure.

    If you look at your ‘hooks’ below, they are all excellent. They will all work. But they are largely negative. AEs are just as likely to be positive as negative and thus they open up a second front in the battle for capturing a reader’s attention.

    Hooks by MaryLu:

    “End with the worst thing possible that could happen to your character

    In a romance, have your heroine find the hero talking intimately to another woman or visa versa

    Play upon the character’s worst fears

    Create a moment of extreme embarrassment

    Unexpected action

    Have an unexpected or long lost character enter the room

    End with a threat

    End with an action that could end badly

    End with a promise of disaster.

    End with a promise of action

    End with violence

    A daunting realization:

    End with a question

    Ominous foreboding

    End with a shocking statement

    A vow

    An ultimatum


    Anticipatory Events -- AEs
    (Something the reader looks forward to.)

    Anticipation of good news.

    “There’s someone on the phone for you.”
    “Who is it? I’m busy.”
    “It’s Rita or someone on the Rita committee --whatever that is.”

    The joy of nosiness.

    “Mary couldn’t help herself. She opened her boyfriend’s medicine cabinet and saw – not medicine – but rather a little brightly gift-wrapped box. Christmas was two weeks off!"

    The possibility of joy.

    “Mary absentmindedly looked through her mail almost missing the engraved invitation. Almost missing. Her heart stopped."

    The promise of news.

    “You won’t believe what I have to tell you! Oh, I have to hang up now. The boss is watching”.

    The promise of an exhilarating experience.

    “Mary walked up to the open door. If she was ever going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, it was now or never."

    The promise of a new culinary experience.

    “It was important for Mary to impress her date but when the food came, she didn’t recognize a thing on her plate. She wondered if anything on the plate recognized her."

    Winning a contest

    “If Mary could hit a 5 or more she’d win the $500 prize. Money she badly needed. The little dart felt like it weighted twenty pounds!"

    Seeking Approval

    “Mary loved the wedding dress but what would her five best girlfriends think? As she stepped out of the dressing room all eyes followed her to the pedestal. The room became as quiet as a tomb."

    Anticipation’s End

    “Mary had dreamed about exploring the catacombs for years. Then the guide called for the group to begin the decent down the steps."

    Some of the best anticipatory events allow the reader to experience something through the ‘eyes’ of a charter who is seeing the thing for the first time. Everything is more vivid and exciting the first time. These experiences are ‘high value’ in rewarding a reader for reading. I also think it is important to give the reader a few small victories along the road to the HEA.

    Thanks for your post.


    Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  22. Okay, I'll play. This is from my 2011 release, JEWEL OF PERSIA.

    In chapter two, it's well established that our heroine's father hates the Persians (this is the timeline of the book of Esther). So when Kasia walks into her father's woodshop and sees two Persian men, she thinks that explains his frown. Until he answers her mother's question about what's going on with . . .

    “I think our daughter can best answer that question. Tell us, Kasia. How is it that the king has decided he will take you as a wife?”

  23. Wow, Vince, Yes, I see your point. I never realized my chapter endings were all negative!! LOL I suppose that's because my stories are borderline romantic suspense and I'm always making things worse for my characters up until the last minute! I'm such a meany! Typically in a suspense or thriller that's the goal, but for other genres, chapter endings don't have to insinuate disaster! It's just a matter of personal style. But I totally agree with you.! Anticipatory events can be equally as engaging in prompting your reader to turn the page and your list and examples are excellent!! I'm going to add those to my list as well. Thank you so much!!

  24. Roseanna, Wow.. okay, now I want to turn the page on that last line! Wonderful. It's a question and a shock and an ominous foreboding all at once. Great!

  25. What a great list of chapter hook possibilities, MaryLu! Thanks for sharing your insights in Seekerville today!

    Oh, wow, another LOST fan! I was like you, always frustrated I had to wait a whole week to find out what happened next. So how'd you feel about the series finale? Did it satisfy all your questions?

  26. Myra... wasn't LOST the best? I just ordered the final season on Blu-Ray. Did it answer all my questions. NOP. Did I love the ending anyway? Yes! Do I wish they had addressed more of the open-ended issues? Absolutely, but that just wasn't the way LOST operated. Just when I thought I had it figured out, they LOST me. LOL And that and the incredible characters is what kept me coming back!

  27. Debbie Mitchell debsbunch5@jesusanswers.comAugust 27, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    As the small, rotting boat slowly drifted upon the calm, clear water, Deborha wondered about her life thus far. Why would a loving God put her in such a perilous situation? Why would He place her in the path of Captain Jack Mitchell? Her thoughts went to his young daughter, Kathleen. Who would help her to understand the mysteries of becoming a woman, now that Deborha has left the ship? As tears filled her eyes, her thoughts were interrupted by a sound.........NO! it can't be!
    How is that, MaryLu? I used myself, my husband and my daughter as characters. I want to win!!! This was fun. ;o)

  28. What a great post, MaryLu! I LOVE your books, and I recognized quite a few of those endings. :-) I don't need to be entered to win Surrender the Heart because I already have it and can't wait to read it!

    But just for fun, here's a chapter ending. This takes place in ancient Rome during a time when Christians were persecuted. Alethea has always been afraid to admit to being a Christian, and now she's standing face-to-face with the Imperial Magistrate who questions whether or not she's a Christian. (She just watched one of her close Christian brothers deny being a follower of Christ and revile His Name as proof. Because of that, he was set free.) If Alethea answers "yes" she will be executed.

    “And now for you.” The Magistrate looked pointedly at Alethea. He glanced briefly at the scroll by his side. “Alethea daughter of Galen Aletheos, and wife to our preacher here.” He motioned with scorn at David. “I hear you have a daughter? A little girl waiting for you at home?”

    Alethea nodded. Poor Elianna. What would her little girl do if Alethea allowed herself to be executed?

    The Magistrate pursed his lips and nodded as if in sympathy. “What say you? Are you, or are you not a Christian?”

  29. Great post MaryLu and congrats on having another exciting book published. No, I haven't read this one yet, but I've read others of yours and so I know this will be about as tension-filled as a book can get.

    Okay, I'll play today... here's the end of Chap 5 of Emma's Outlaw:
    Dan raced after her. With Virgil and Owen riding shotgun, her only hope was for him to find her first.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win a copy of your book.
    anitamaedraper (at) hotmail (dot) com

  30. Debbie, perfect! A definite promise of action or disaster!! But which? That's why the reader turns the page and stays up far too late at night!
    Hi Sandi!! Good to see you here! Ah, you've ended with a question, but not just any question, a question that could mean life or death to the heroine. Fabulous! okay, now I've got to read your book! It's still sitting on my nightstand.
    Hi Anita! Thanks for your kind words. Love your ending. The heroine is in peril, bad guys are after her, and Dan is her only hope! But will Dan get to her first? A question, a promise of action and danger. Nicely done
    Oh, these are all so good!

  31. Wow, great tips MaryLu
    I'm printing this off as a great quick reference.

  32. MaryLu,

    I just love the examples you gave! And yes, I know I would continue to the next chapter after reading those hooks--because I have! ;) Your books are amazing!

    Here is an example from my WIP:

    End with a promise of action: "To the beat of downcast hearts, painful sobs, and heavy hooves, David led them to a clearing where they could set up camp and put off deciding—for now." (End of chapter 5.)

    No need to enter me in the drawing, though, as I am going to get my copy of Surrender the Heart soon. ;)

    And MaryLu, thank you so much for letting me interview you for my blog! :)


  33. Thanks, Mary Lu. This was a great reminder to double check my chapter hooks before sending out my new novel. Most were good, although not as stunning as some of your examples, but I caught a few awful ones that needed work.

  34. Thanks Pepper, glad my list helped you!
    Hi Amber! I was happy to be on your blog. Love your chapter ending. It invokes such a melancholy feeling. More of a promise of sweet things to come like Vince indicated. Very nice!
    Hi Dina, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad I could help!

  35. Okay, why go to bed when you can play around on the internet. Here goes:

    Catherine heard nothing over the blood rushing in her ears, but saw the woman’s mouth move. She looked at the knife in her own hand.
    She dropped it as though the handle were red hot. The dirk bounced off the thick rug and skittered across the wooden floor. She looked at her hand for the blood. It was there, dripping off her fingertips. Then it was gone. Clean and dry. She screamed. This time she heard it.

    Thanks MaryLu - this proved to be really insightful when I started going through my chapters. Time to kick it up a notch.

    Gluten Free? I've baked with that flour, takes some getting used to. Great for desserts that are supposed to be heavy or dense, have you noticed?

  36. MARYLU!!!!! I cannot believe TODAY was the day I was traveling ALL DAY and just now got to the Seeker blog!! I am SOOOO sorry I am late!!

    What a GREAT post with GREAT clips from some the BEST books in the Inspy market in my humble opinion! I just finished Surrender the Heart a few weeks ago and you did the SAME thing to me that Lost did to you, you little brat -- had me on the edge of my seat at least five different times!! In fact, I hope to do a Seeker blog on endings in the next month or so, and I have already earmarked several of yours to use! YOU are the master, my friend!

    Looking forward to the next time we can hob-nob together, "sis." :)


  37. these are so helpful, MaryLu. I need a serious tutorial in this. Thanks for this great discussion. :)

  38. Hi, Great article! Yes, I loved Lost and also 24. Two great examples. Your books sound fabulous.
    Below is the end of Chapter 1 of a Christian, non-fiction biography. She has just gotten away from three men who had grabbed her and abused her for several hours.

    “You don’t know what they’ve done. They raped me, and beat me.” Words gushed out as relief flooded my mind and hope filled my heart. “You don’t know," I sobbed. "You don’t know what they’ve done to me. ”
    I wasn’t in a mental state to immediately register that he was a cop I had seen before…one who recognized me.

    “There’s no rape for crack-headed prostitutes, Lisa.”

  39. Debra, good grief, you scared me with your post!! LOL Perhaps you and Ted Dekker should get together, eh? But seriously... it was a definite page turner! And that's what we want to do!! Thanks for participating.
    Waving to my good friend Julie!!! Thanks for dropping by and saying such nice things about my book. So glad you liked it!! Can't wait to hang out with you again. What a doll you are!

    Also waving at Kathleen! Thanks for dropping by
    And Sandy, wow. There was something very jarring about your ending. Like a punch in the gut. An emotional torpedo. I'm going to add that to my list. Love it! And definitely a page turner.
    Well, thanks to everyone who dropped by! Everyone's examples were SO Good!!! I was thrilled to read them all.
    God Bless!

  40. GREAT post on hooks. Now I want to go back and watch all of LOST. LOL.